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A Probabilistic Model of Flower Fertility and Factors Influencing Seed Production in Winter Oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.)

Abstract : The number of pods per plant and the number of seeds per pod are the most variable yield components in winter oilseed rape (WOSR). The production of a seed is the combination of several physiological processes, namely formation of ovules and pollen grains, fertilization of the ovules and development of young embryos, any problem in these processes may result in seed abortion or pod abortion. Both the number of ovules per pod and the potential for the ovule to develop into a mature seed may depend on pod position in the plant architecture and time of appearance. The complex developmental pattern of WOSR makes it difficult to analyse.In this study, we first investigate the variability of the following yield components (a) ovules/pod, (b) seeds/pod, and (c) pods/axis in relation to two explanatory variables. These two variables include (1) flower and inflorescence position and (2) time of pod appearance, linked to the effect of assimilate availability. Based on the biological phenomena of flower fertility, we developed a probabilistic model to simulate the number of ovules per ovary and seeds per pod. The model can predict the number of pollen grains per flower and distinguish the factors that influence the yield. Field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009. The number and position of flowers that bloomed within the inflorescence were recorded based on observations every two to three days throughout the flowering season. Different trophic states were created by clipping the main stem or ramifications to investigate the effect of assimilate competition.The results indicate that the amount of available assimilates was the primary determinant of pod and seed production. The distribution of resources was significantly affected by both the positions of pods within an inflorescence and the position of inflorescences within a plant in WOSR. In addition, model estimation for distribution parameter of pollen grain number indicated that pollination limitation could influence the seed production. Furthermore, the ovule viability could result in the decrease of the number of pods and the number of seeds per pod at the distal position of inflorescence. The model of flower fertility could be a tool to study the strategy of improving seed yield in flowering plants
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Xiujuan Wang. A Probabilistic Model of Flower Fertility and Factors Influencing Seed Production in Winter Oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). Other. Ecole Centrale Paris; CHINA AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011ECAP0025⟩. ⟨tel-00635536⟩

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